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1503 - 1572

Agnolo di Cosimo (called Bronzino) was the leading painter of mid-16th-century Florence. According to Vasari he is the boy on the steps in his teacher Pontormo's 'Joseph with Jacob in Egypt', also in the National Gallery. Influenced, like many other artists of his generation, by Michelangelo, Bronzino is classed as a Mannerist. The refined and stylish artificiality associated with this label can be best appreciated in his 'Allegory'.

Bronzino is chiefly famous for his portraits, especially those of Cosimo de' Medici, first Duke of Florence (1537), his wife Eleonora da Toledo (both in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence), their children and members of their court. Bronzino's frescoes and other religious paintings are as stylish and carefully designed as his portraits. See for instance his 'Madonna and Child' in the Collection.